Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior - Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima MeliorAbbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior

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BA SCORE
84
good

171 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 10
Gots: 11 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A Special Reserve Ale exclusively for the use of the Abbot and his guests. A rich brown beer seasoned with Anise & Coriander, secondary fermentation in the bottle, based on the brewing tradition of Floreffe Abbey, founded in 1121.

Ale brewed with spices (star anise, orange peel).

(Beer added by: rastaman on 09-09-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thierrynantes
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle 33cl, tasted in 2000.

Appearance : Mahogany dark, clear, well saturated. Foam creamy beige fairly stable.
Smell : spicy liqueur aroma, rich and deep, spicy and sweet.
Taste and mouthfeel : picy, smooth covering acridity, mouth and structured very aromatic. Post-bitter taste and rear full. Heady.
Drinkability : The floreffe "meilleure" is a good beer in the style of massive ale

Reviewed 11-10-2007, translated in english 1-5-2008.

Photo of ccrida
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml bottle, with a best before date of 12/18/2008, it's a youngin'. The front label says brewed with spices (star anise, orange peel), while the back cites anise and corriader, so maybe all three? We'll see...

Poured into my old Abbaye d'Aulne goblet, Prima Melior is a dark, hazy garnet with a thin but long lasting bone colored heard that leaves moderate foamy lace.

The smell is nice and rich malt, more on the cured side of the dark fruits, with some definite citrus, which I find unusual for a BSDA, but works well here, especially with the anise, which is fainter.

The taste is semi-sweet, a nice citrus tartness behind the aforementioned cured fruits, a la raisin and fig, with a hint of anise. Very smooth and balanced, with quite a lot of depth. A touch roasty, but no astringency to speak of, and a slight flash of booze on the finish.

The mouthfeel is very carbonated, as this is a pretty young brew, with a medium body.

A very enjoyable BSDA that went down way to easily. It's interesting, that I bought both this and the Abbaye De Floreffe Triple at a tasting, where I definitely preferred the triple. But now that I've have a bottle of each, it's clearly the other way around. And while this surely cellars well, it's remarkably smooth at this young age.

Photo of WesWes
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a towering offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light malty scent that boasts of crystal malts and star anise. It has a nice fruity yeast aroma. The taste is decent as well. It has a fruity yeast flavor with a hint of orange peel and anise in the finish. It goes down easy and finishes earthy with a bit of warmth. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average brew, but nothing to get excited about.

Photo of geexploitation
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, with a huge, sticky, long-lasting taupe head. Aromas of coriander, anise, sweet dark fruits, and dark sugar crystals. Not a very deep or developed aroma. On the palate, big, almost funky, very earthy coriander flavor matched with very forward sweetness. Hot alcohol and fruity, almost tangy, sweetness. Mouthfeel is light in body and big on carbonation -- the overall impression is rather heavy somehow. Overall, this is a decent Belgian strong dark ale, but the strong coriander note detracts in my opinion, and there's not another "hook" in this beer aside from those added spices. Of course, that's not terrible -- there's nothing wrong with being decent.

Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, caged and corked, with best before dating on the rear label. Pours very dark brown, minimal light shining thru, even on the edges. This one, just like the triple, lifts a huge long lasting frothy head, here its dark tan and leaves classic looking Belgian lace. Fine bubbles continue to rise. On the nose, notes of raisins and sugary spice come forth. Allowed to warm, a picture of a big, flavorful BSDA emerges. Notes of plenty of raisins, cocoa, rum, dark grains and Belgian goodness. Alcohol and candi sugar notes are quite moderate and well inserted into the mix. Impressive creation, in the same league as the heavy hitters of the style. This is a lesser know brewery that is turning out some fine creations. Well worth a try IMHO...go get some...and enjoy.

Photo of BeerZack
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This review is for the 11.2oz capped bottle, not the cork-finished 750ml.

Really dark brown, almost black with lots of foam on top.

Sugar, dark fruit and alcohol on the nose.

A good dry bite of dark chocolate balanced by raisiny sweetness. Somewhat of a roasted flavor lingering.

Really aggressive carbonation thats not too pleasant.

Good flavor but not great and feels too fizzy in the mouth, but its definately okay.

Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a nice Burgundy glass it was hard to contain the head. Thick and pale colored foam with a body of dark brown with ruby-rose highlights stood strong in the glass. Just spotted small chunks of yeast still floating around in there as well.

The smell was soft and airy ... much different from the appearance. Floral notes, malt, wet pollen, blueberry, and a sweet yeast smell carried throughout.

Thick but light mouthfeel. Liquid titanium?? Doesn't flow through your mouth and down the throat very well. It gets caught up on the tongue. Really carbonated which results in a foaming sensation.

Strong, up front, style. All the flavors are up front and forward with little flow or flex. Sweet (almost like an asian sauce), spices, small bitterness, and a roasty-ness from somewhere make it a good sipper with an alcohol bite. Bottle says 8% ABV and you know it's in there.

Photo of Absumaster
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a very dark beer with ruby red hues and a creamy, glass sticking head.

Smell of raisins and slightly burned chocolate, which comes across as being a tad sharp.

Taste is full of pure, dark chocolate and roasted notes. There are some cherry and dark honey whiffs and a slight alcohol warming sensation, which make the beer a bit boozy. The chocolate is a bit too sharp for me and this beer will probably improve with aging. Mouthfeel is a little sweet and spot on for this beer. Body is medium.

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Papsoe. Alcohol in nose along with spice, a bit of yeast. Dark brown with white head that dissipitates. Spicey taste with aggressive carbonation, despite expirey in February 2007. Chocolate in finish, overall medium plus mouthfeel. Satisfying, another good one from this brewery,

Photo of EPICAC
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with ruby tints. A thin brown head fades quickly leaving no lace.

Smell: Sweet raisins and little else.

Taste: Sugary raisins upfront and through to the finish. The finish has light pepper and a bit of roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, medium-bodied and lightly dry.

Drinkability: The dry finish bumped this up a notch.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a super huge off-white foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of sweet malt with some light spices (which may include some pepper and some anis). Taste is quite sweet probably from the candi sugar with some spices. Hops are clearly quite subtle and even the yeast is subdued (I would have preferred if it could have brought more character to this beer. Body is above average but could be a bit more full. Alcohol is well hidden. Overall, a very good Belgian ale and probably one of the finest product from this brewer.

Photo of Cwrw
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought Prima Melior back from Belgium in 2004. This corked 750ml bottle has been aged upright in my cellar for 1 year and 9 months. Not sure if I should have aged it for that long...but let's taste and see.

The Floreffe beers are genuine Belgian Abbey Beers brewed FOR the monks at Floreffe Abbey BY Brewery Lefebvre. The website had this to say about the Prima Melior: "Prima Melior was the Special Reserve Ale exclusively for the use of the Abbot and his guests." Cool.

The labelling is a rich dark blue showing a picture of the Abbey. Neck label shows the same. Served at cellar temperature in a chalice. The beer is a lovely deep chestnut hue, opaque and very full. Hints of ruby red and even dark orange around the edges at times. The head is thin and light brown, with excellent small bublles and good consistency despite being cellared for nearly two years. Solid lacing too. A great looking Belgian brown. The aroma is big on the yeast and spices, but the malting is there too and it really shows off big notes of flax seed, mulitgrain bread and dusty barley. The anise and coriander add a medicinal aroma that smells like a herbalists shop, or even some cough medicine, but it's never off-putting. I think the yeastiness may be a little over-pronounced from my aging the beer though. The aroma is actually quite the fickle fish though--this is a really unique smelling brew, for as it warms the medicinal herbaceous characteristics increase and mix with the alcohol to create a wonderfully complex set of aromas: I get quite pronounced hits of wild mint at times, horehound, peppermint, tree sap, light black licorice, fresh cut green grass, all sorts of indescribable flowery notes, and brown sugar. Plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg to be had too. The hops are undetectable but the malting is grainy and vinous. Wonderfully complex, the aroma kept me coming back for more. The first tastes are very yeasty, and dusty. The alcohol is there, almost sparkling wine-like. Grainy malts dominate, and the taste is sweet, with very little bitterness. Not quite as complex as the aroma. The spices are also in the mouth, mainly at the front. Black licorice, brown sugar, and woody tastes. Crisp carbonation and a medium-full body. This goes down extremely easy, as the alcohol is extremely well hidden. I paired this with single cream Canadian brie, havarti, and blue cheese. The brie was good but was overpowered, the havarti too, but the salty tang of the blue cheese was complemented exceptionally by the beer's sweet taste. Try it. A lovely quirky brown Belgian. I cannot say if the aging helped or hindered, because I only had one bottle and didn't try the beer un-aged. Still, it aged exceptionally quality-wise. I would definitely recommend this. Glad I carted it back from Brussels.

Photo of BeerBeing
4.6/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 0.75 liter brown glass semi-custom bottle with cork/cage, mostly blue label

Appearance: very dark brown, light brown head, good lacing

Smell: excellent, raisins, plums, coffee, herbs, sweet malt

Taste: excellent, full body, great mouthfeel, sweet malt, a lot of it, fruity at the same time (black grape), you can feel alcohol also

Notes: VERY TASTY, good stuff

Photo of allengarvin
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, with a best-before date of April 2004, a year ago. I've had it in my fridge for a couple years.

Appearance: Dark ruby-brown, with a quarter-inch of off-white foam atop the beer.

Aroma: Highly fruity (plums, raisins, with a little vanilla).

Taste: Sweet, fairly malty, with an odd licorice flavor. Some pleasant spicy & peppery notes in the middle. Quite a bit of yeasty fruitiness as well.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, a little watery.

A decent dark Belgian, but not a lot stands out here. I know I've had this before because the label is in my Belgian label photo album, but I don't remember what it was like then.

Photo of paterlodie
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out perfectly and has a nice yellow head, that's huge stays quiet long though bubbels get bigger and bigger. Goes then quickly leaving laces behind and rests stay all drink long. Color is black with redbrown shine in light.
Smell is candysugar, caramelic and sweet. Further malty and fresh. Taste is caramel, sweet, malty and going then into a bitterness with litle roasttaste and caramel again.
Mouthfeel is full with sweet, bitter, sourness of the roast and carbon dioxide. Like the brew and can recomend it!

Photo of Globetrotter
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found in a Moscow supermarket, this brew comes in a 750ml brown bottle with cork and cage. The label is white, gold and blue, with a nice drawing of an abbey. Ingredients include cane sugar and spices. Best before 6/18/06, I couldn't wait longer than 12/19/04.

Pours an opaque deep burgundy hue under a 1.5 finger tan head that lacks body but makes up for it with staying power. A couple of wisps of lace cling to the glass, but most of the head just sinks down the glass as the liquid is consumed. Sweet fruit and spice nose, with grape prominent but a touch of perhaps coriander lurking in the background. Well carbonated and slightly sticky mouth coats the tongue nicely. Nice smooth taste, opening with more grape to go with the chewy malt. A raft of spices floats along the surface, tough to pinpoint but adding luxury to the experience. There is also that signature Francophone sweetness in the hops, which leave no bitter impression at all but announce an unmissable presence in the finish. The aftertaste is a refreshing combination of grape and bread. This is good stuff.

Photo of stcules
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The colour is a full black, with abeautiful stout-like foam.
Smell of anise, plum, cane sugar. Maybe a little too alcoholic. Some velvet sweetness in the background, like vanilla or creme-caramel, but also some burned-toasted hints.
At the taste is malt, toffe, and toasted. And then again anise, plum, and black grape.
Medium body.
In the aftertaste, dark malt, plum and grape. At the end, it is cleraly perceptible the alcoholic again.

Photo of Rastacouere
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, but I'll gladly admit the unclear Floreffe glass doesn't easy the task of evaluating its appearance. Head is just fine, off-white, medium-lasting, well-laced. The aroma is great. Very yeasty and heavily malty sweet with notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel. Also considerable fruitiness among which stood out plums and apples. The taste displays a medium complexity with plenty of fruits like peaches, pears, apples, orange. Well spiced too with its restrained hints at cloves, cinammon and vanilla. Light to medium bodied though, rather carbonated. On the sweet end of belgian ales, but very balanced (despite alcohol being well noticeable) and pleasant to drink. Most definitely my favorite Floreffe.

Photo of Popsinc
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown pour with a very lively, medium head. The nose was subtle but was highlighted by bubblegum and dark raisin. The taste was also subtle in that the sweetness was not overpowering but more toned down and pleasant. Bubblegum sweetness and a light raisin/grape quality. The finish was semi-dry but only lingered a short while. The mouthfeel was very lively and and full....but not heavy. Plenty of active carbonation. A decent winter warmer.

Photo of rastaman
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, use by date September 2001, so its an old bottle, the girl at Bottles in London gave it too me for £2, down from the normal £5, because it was past its use by date. Beautifull dark brown, slightly hazy appearance, with a beautiful white head, with fantastic lace. The aroma is of chocolate, vanilla, some roastiness, herbs, raisins and port wine.
Wonderfully smooth, mouth covering stuff, lots of choc and vanilla, and that roasty and herbal notes i picked up in the aroma, are there to finish off, very long finish, with some lovely port wine qualities, nice aged character.

Photo of LarryKemp
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was very dark and had a creamy head that lasted a long time.

Even though it was in a snifter, I got very little aroma. This beer was served way too cold so that might have impacted both the smell and the taste. I was expecting a complex beer and was sorely disappointed. The aroma was subpar. I got very little malt and none of the rich fruitiness I expected. The taste likewise was very average. It was very slightly sweet and had no complexity.

The mouthfeel was light and I could not get any warming from the alcohol.

This was the first beer of the evening and I was surprised that it did not show its stuff. Again maybe the beer was served real cold and it killed its personalilty, but I am not inclined to give it a second chance.

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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
84 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.